To prepare for an apartment viewing, plan ahead by:
- making a checklist that contains all your ‘must-have’ features,
- jotting down a list of questions,
- confirming the availability of parking,
- confirming where you will meet the leasing agent, and
- budgeting in some time to tour around the area.
It’s also a good idea to bring your ID and look on Google Maps ahead of time (or similar digital map) to check out what’s around the area. This way, on the day of the tour, when you go drive around, you are more familiar with the area.
Below are 9 specific ways you can prepare for your apartment viewing / apartment tour.
Quick Summary Video (if you prefer)…and then keep reading…
1. Prepare Checklist of what you want
2. Ask questions before you go
Call the building and ask questions to ensure the apartment viewing meets your checklist. Some examples include, is there a washer/dryer, is there a dishwasher, is there central heating or cooling, what is parking availability like, rent cost, security deposit, pet-friendly etc.
3. Bring your paperwork and ID
If you love an apartment and want to apply, then it’s handy to bring your paperwork and ID in advance. Some things to bring with you include driver’s license, social security, car license plate and vehicle information, check book, and certified funds if you plan on putting down a deposit on the day.
4. Where to meet the leasing agent
Find out where you need to meet the leasing agent and where to park. Will you be meeting them in the office, a model apartment or the actual apartment that is available?
5. Whether other families / prospects will be visiting
When talking to the agent, find out if this viewing is just for you or if there are other people coming along. It’s important to understand, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Confirm both parties will be conforming to CDC guidelines, including wearing masks and adhering to proper social distancing.
6. Make an appointment where necessary
In some cases, an appointment may be needed, so make sure you organize that before visiting the apartment.
7. Make a list of detailed questions
Write down questions you want to ask the agent in advance so you don’t end up forgetting. You can also bring a notepad if you want to take your own notes, which can be helpful later if you need to make a comparison. Apartments that don’t meet your criteria can be crossed off quickly, allowing you to make a decision faster. Here are top 10 questions to ask before signing a lease.
8. Drive around the area
Once you inspect the apartment, leave time to drive around the area to make sure you are comfortable with it before committing to a lease. Is it close to amenities and shops? Do you have to travel far for basic conveniences?
9. Confirm whether you’ll be able to see the exact apartment
To make sure you are comfortable with the location and area, find out if you can see the location of the exact apartment you are living in and not just a model apartment. This will give you a much better idea of location and space. If it’s occupied, at least make sure you know where the apartment will be in the community.
Use this guide to help you better prepare for your next apartment viewing. Then, when ready, begin your apartment tour and viewing process.